Foodstruct Advanced Nutrition Search | Diet Analysis | Glycemic index chart | Insulin index chart | Blog

Sunflower seeds vs Almonds - In-Depth Nutrition Comparison

Compare
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian by Elen Khachatrian | Last updated on May 21, 2022
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Almond
vs
Sunflower seed

Summary

Almond is higher in Vitamin B2, calcium, and potassium; it has less sodium, saturated fats, and lower GI. Sunflower seeds are higher in minerals and vitamins and have lower sugars than almonds.

Introduction

We will go through the similarities and differences between almonds and sunflower seeds, focusing on nutrition and health impact.

Varieties

The sunflower seed is the seed of Helianthus annuus. Sunflower seeds are classified into linoleic, high oleic, and sunflower oil seeds. Linoleic seeds are the most common type.

The Prunus genus includes almonds, also known as Prunus dulcis. They are not true nuts but rather stone fruits known as drupes. The most common almond types are sweet almond and bitter almond. Both are used in the kitchen.

Taste and Uses

Almonds have a mild earthy flavor, while their skin might taste bitter. Almonds can be used as snacks or as ingredients in various dishes, desserts, etc. Sunflower seeds have a nutty flavor and a tender texture. They can be used in salad and cooking and can be eaten raw.

Nutrition

Both almonds and sunflower seeds have rich nutrition content. You can find the visual infographics at the bottom of this page.

Calories

Sunflower seeds and almonds have almost an equal number of calories. Almond contains 579 calories per 100g, while sunflower seeds contain 584 calories per 100g.

Vitamins

Sunflower seeds are richer in vitamins. They contain 24 times more Vitamin A, eight times more Vitamin B6, more Vitamin B2, Vitamin B3, Vitamin B5, Vitamin B1, Vitamin C, and Folate.

Sunflower seeds fall in the range of the top 9% of foods as a source of Vitamin B1. They can cover your daily recommended Vitamin B1 dose.

The amount of Vitamin B2 is higher in almonds.

Both almonds and sunflower seeds have no Vitamin D, Vitamin K, and Vitamin B12.

Vitamin Comparison

Vitamin comparison score is based on the number of vitamins by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Almond
1
:
Contains more Vitamin B2 +220.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +2400%
Contains more Vitamin E +37.2%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +622%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +130.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +139.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +881.8%
Contains more Folate +415.9%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 1% 513% 0% 0% 52% 263% 68% 29% 32% 33% 0% 0%
Vitamin A Vitamin E Vitamin D Vitamin C Vitamin B1 Vitamin B2 Vitamin B3 Vitamin B5 Vitamin B6 Folate Vitamin B12 Vitamin K 3% 704% 0% 5% 370% 82% 157% 68% 311% 171% 0% 0%
Contains more Vitamin B2 +220.6%
Contains more Vitamin A +2400%
Contains more Vitamin E +37.2%
Contains more Vitamin C +∞%
Contains more Vitamin B1 +622%
Contains more Vitamin B3 +130.4%
Contains more Vitamin B5 +139.9%
Contains more Vitamin B6 +881.8%
Contains more Folate +415.9%

Minerals

Both sunflower seeds and almonds have rich mineral profiles.

Sunflower seeds have more iron, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper.

Sunflower seeds fall in the range of the top 8% of foods as a source of magnesium and phosphorus.

On the other hand, almonds have more calcium and potassium and less sodium. Almonds fall in the range of the top 8% of foods as a source of potassium.

Mineral Comparison

Mineral comparison score is based on the number of minerals by which one or the other food is richer. The "coverage" chart below show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of the food
Contains more Calcium +244.9%
Contains more Potassium +13.6%
Contains less Sodium -88.9%
Contains more Iron +41.5%
Contains more Magnesium +20.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +37.2%
Contains more Zinc +60.3%
Contains more Copper +74.6%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 81% 140% 193% 207% 65% 1% 86% 344%
Calcium Iron Magnesium Phosphorus Potassium Sodium Zinc Copper 24% 197% 233% 283% 57% 2% 137% 600%
Contains more Calcium +244.9%
Contains more Potassium +13.6%
Contains less Sodium -88.9%
Contains more Iron +41.5%
Contains more Magnesium +20.4%
Contains more Phosphorus +37.2%
Contains more Zinc +60.3%
Contains more Copper +74.6%

Glycemic Index

The carbohydrate content of almonds is relatively high; however, most of it is dietary fiber. Because of this, the glycemic index of almonds is 0. The glycemic index of sunflower seeds is 20, which is considered a low GI.

Fats

Both almond and sunflower seeds are rich in healthy fats. They both fall in the range of the top 3% of foods as a source of fat. In contrast, they both have high polyunsaturated fats (healthy fats) and low saturated fats.

Carbs

Both almonds and sunflower seeds have relatively high carb content. Almonds have 21.55g per 100g (of which 9g are net carbs), and sunflower seeds have 20g per 100g (of which11.4g are net carbs).

Both contain high fiber. However, in comparison, almond has more fiber. It falls in the range of the top 9% of foods as a source of fiber.

Cholesterol

Both almonds and sunflower seeds have no cholesterol.

Health Impact

Weight Loss and Diets

Almonds and sunflower seeds are very high in calories. Nevertheless, they can play an essential role in a healthy diet, as they are rich in dietary fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Various studies have concluded that including almonds in reduced-calorie diets leads to a more desirable and healthier weight loss than the hypocaloric diets without these nuts [1]. Besides, almonds and sunflower seeds have a low glycemic index, which is good in the case of Low GI or Medium GI diets.

Cardiovascular Health

Research shows [2] that nut consumption has a significant positive effect on cardiovascular health, reducing coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death and ameliorating risk factors by decreasing body weight and blood cholesterol.

One study [3] indicates that daily consumption of fewer than two servings of almonds may help prevent cardiovascular disease in the short term and potentially long term.

Another study [4] found that a compound in sunflower seeds inhibits an enzyme that causes blood vessels to constrict. As a result, it may aid in the relaxation of your blood vessels, lowering your blood pressure. Sunflower seeds also contain magnesium, which helps to lower blood pressure.

Diabetes

According to research [5], eating 1 ounce (30 grams) of sunflower seeds daily as part of a healthy diet can reduce fasting blood sugar by about 10% in six months compared to a healthy diet alone.

One study [6] indicates that seeds like sunflower and flax seeds have a role in reducing glucose levels and can be used to treat type 2 diabetes. The bioactive components in these seeds, like chlorogenic acid and phytoestrogen, can be involved in treating insulin resistance or insulin production.

Side Effects

Allergy

Those who have common food allergies might also be allergic to almonds. Sunflower seed allergies are more common in people who work with sunflower plants or seeds, such as sunflower farmers and bird breeders. Commonly, symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, diarrhea, oral allergy syndrome, and in rare cases, anaphylactic shock [7] [8].

Phytic Acid

Certain nuts, legumes, and oils contain phytic acid. This substance may bind to micronutrients like zinc and iron, preventing absorption. The consumption of phytic acid-rich foods can result in iron and zinc deficiencies, resulting in anemia, growth stagnation, and impaired immune functions. Almonds tend to be higher in phytic acid than other nuts [9].

Cadmium

Cadmium is abundant in sunflower seeds. If you are exposed to high levels of this heavy metal for an extended period, it can harm your kidneys.

Sunflowers absorb cadmium from the soil and deposit it in their seeds more significantly than most other foods. So be mindful of sunflower seed consumption [10].

References

  1. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5715655/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3257681/
  3. https://bmcpublichealth.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12889-020-08642-4
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29086881/
  5. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24959542/
  6. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34540481/
  7. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7811165/
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/11080721/
  9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4325021/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29580822/
Article author photo Elen Khachatrian
Education: Nutrition & Microbiology at YSU
Last updated: May 21, 2022

Infographic

Almond vs Sunflower seed infographic
Infographic link

Comparison summary table

Pay attention to the most right column. It shows the amounts side by side, making it easier to realize the amount of difference.
Almond Sunflower seed
Lower in Sugar ok
Lower in price ok
Rich in minerals ok
Rich in vitamins ok
Lower in Sodium ok
Lower in Saturated Fat ok
Lower in glycemic index ok
Lower in Cholesterol Equal

All nutrients comparison - raw data values

Nutrient Almond Sunflower seed Opinion
Net carbs 9.05g 11.4g Sunflower seed
Protein 21.15g 20.78g Almond
Fats 49.93g 51.46g Sunflower seed
Carbs 21.55g 20g Almond
Calories 579kcal 584kcal Sunflower seed
Starch 0.72g g Almond
Fructose 0.11g g Almond
Sugar 4.35g 2.62g Sunflower seed
Fiber 12.5g 8.6g Almond
Calcium 269mg 78mg Almond
Iron 3.71mg 5.25mg Sunflower seed
Magnesium 270mg 325mg Sunflower seed
Phosphorus 481mg 660mg Sunflower seed
Potassium 733mg 645mg Almond
Sodium 1mg 9mg Almond
Zinc 3.12mg 5mg Sunflower seed
Copper 1.031mg 1.8mg Sunflower seed
Vitamin A 2IU 50IU Sunflower seed
Vitamin E 25.63mg 35.17mg Sunflower seed
Vitamin D 0IU 0IU
Vitamin D 0µg 0µg
Vitamin C 0mg 1.4mg Sunflower seed
Vitamin B1 0.205mg 1.48mg Sunflower seed
Vitamin B2 1.138mg 0.355mg Almond
Vitamin B3 3.618mg 8.335mg Sunflower seed
Vitamin B5 0.471mg 1.13mg Sunflower seed
Vitamin B6 0.137mg 1.345mg Sunflower seed
Folate 44µg 227µg Sunflower seed
Vitamin B12 0µg 0µg
Vitamin K 0µg 0µg
Tryptophan 0.211mg 0.348mg Sunflower seed
Threonine 0.601mg 0.928mg Sunflower seed
Isoleucine 0.751mg 1.139mg Sunflower seed
Leucine 1.473mg 1.659mg Sunflower seed
Lysine 0.568mg 0.937mg Sunflower seed
Methionine 0.157mg 0.494mg Sunflower seed
Phenylalanine 1.132mg 1.169mg Sunflower seed
Valine 0.855mg 1.315mg Sunflower seed
Histidine 0.539mg 0.632mg Sunflower seed
Cholesterol 0mg 0mg
Trans Fat 0.015g g Sunflower seed
Saturated Fat 3.802g 4.455g Almond
Monounsaturated Fat 31.551g 18.528g Almond
Polyunsaturated fat 12.329g 23.137g Sunflower seed

Which food is preferable for your diet?

ok
ok
is better in case of low diet
Almond Sunflower seed
Low Fats diet ok
Low Carbs diet ok
Low Calories diet ok
Low glycemic index diet ok

People also compare

Vitamin and Mineral Summary Scores

The summary score is calculated by summing up the daily values contained in 300 grams of the product. Obviously the more the food fulfills human daily needs, the more the summary score is.
Vitamin Summary Score
82
Almond
156
Sunflower seed
Mineral Summary Score
139
Almond
191
Sunflower seed

Macronutrients Comparison

Macronutrient comparison charts compare the amount of protein, total fats, and total carbohydrates in 300 grams of the food. The displayed values show how much of the daily needs can be covered by 300 grams of food.
Protein
127%
Almond
125%
Sunflower seed
Carbohydrates
22%
Almond
20%
Sunflower seed
Fats
230%
Almond
238%
Sunflower seed

Comparison summary

Which food is lower in Sugar?
Sunflower seed
Sunflower seed is lower in Sugar (difference - 1.73g)
Which food is cheaper?
Sunflower seed
Sunflower seed is cheaper (difference - $0.8)
Which food is richer in minerals?
Sunflower seed
Sunflower seed is relatively richer in minerals
Which food is richer in vitamins?
Sunflower seed
Sunflower seed is relatively richer in vitamins
Which food contains less Sodium?
Almond
Almond contains less Sodium (difference - 8mg)
Which food is lower in Saturated Fat?
Almond
Almond is lower in Saturated Fat (difference - 0.653g)
Which food is lower in glycemic index?
Almond
Almond is lower in glycemic index (difference - 20)
Which food contains less Cholesterol?
?
The foods are relatively equal in Cholesterol (0 mg)

References

The source of all the nutrient values on the page (excluding the main article the sources for which are presented separately if present) is the USDA's FoodCentral. The exact links to the foods presented on this page can be found below.

  1. Almond - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170567/nutrients
  2. Sunflower seed - https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/170562/nutrients

All the Daily Values are presented for males aged 31-50, for 2000 calorie diets.

Data provided by FoodStruct.com should be considered and used as information only. Please consult your physician before beginning any diet.